tralac’s Daily News Selection
@Kiptoock: Today in Beijing, Zhang Jiwen-Vice Minister of Customs of China and myself signed protocol allowing market access of STEVIA from Kenya to China. This comes 3 days after signing of Sanitary and Phytosanitary MOU. Our famers are strongly urged to take advantage of this market opportunity. @Trade_Kenya: The signing was as a result of long and comprehensive risk analysis by the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service in collaboration with General Administration of Customs, China.
UNCTAD’s Trade and Development Commission, tenth session, starts today in Geneva. In particular, the Commission will consider the reports of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Competition Law and Policy and the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy.
The 7th EU-South Africa 2018 Summit takes place on Thursday in Brussels. Discussions will focus on five areas: economic, trade and investment cooperation; development cooperation; global challenges, such as climate change, migration and human rights; multilateralism and cooperation in multilateral fora; the situation in the neighborhoods of each partner. The summit is held in the framework of the EU-South Africa Strategic Partnership, signed in 2007. DIRCO: South Africa is the only African country, and one of 10 countries globally, that has a Strategic Partnership with the EU. EC: Trade between the EU and South Africa.
Profiled EAC trade and infrastructure meetings: Meeting of the Sectoral Council on Trade, Industry, Finance & Investment (12-16 November, Arusha); World Bank Implementation Support Mission (12-16 November, Arusha); 15th EAC Air Transport Subcommittee (13-16 November, Entebbe); Meeting of the Railway Task Force (15-17 November, Dar es Salaam)
Future drivers of growth in Rwanda: innovation, integration, agglomeration, and competition (World Bank)
Rapid economic growth is Rwanda’s overarching development goal – a strategic choice to anchor its long-term vision. Vision 2050 encapsulates this choice with long-term, income-based goals that aim for upper-middle-income status by 2035 and high-income status by 2050. With this vision, Rwanda has aligned itself with the successful East Asian economies that began their development journey with a similar quest for high growth. The prioritization of long-term growth recognizes an important truth – sustained growth does not just happen, especially in a global landscape marked by forces of technology, trade, and tremendous competition. It requires a combination of leadership, social cohesion, and deep investments in core capabilities – of people, firms, and institutions – to harness the opportunities on offer. The implications of different growth pathways are staggering. At its current pace of growth (4% per capita), Rwanda will barely cross the threshold for lower middle-income status by 2035. At growth of 7% per capita, average income would reach US$2,400 (2017 prices). To become an upper-middle-income country by 2035, Rwanda will need to grow at more than 10% per capita. In 2035, the economic landscape of Rwanda could resemble that of present-day Bangladesh or, alternatively, surpass that of today’s Vietnam or even Georgia and Indonesia.
Africa Investment Forum overviews:
Africa Investment Forum exceeds expectations, participants unanimously agree. The Africa Investment Forum ended on a high note with the closing panel comprising heads of development finance institutions unanimously lauding the unique initiative, calling it an exceptional gathering that “exceeded all expectations.” President of the AfDB, Akinwumi Adesina, told the more than 1,000 delegates: “The needle is shifting, pointing to the right direction, pointing to Africa. I am thankful for the investors, I am thankful for the confidence they have in Africa. Africa has grown up. Africa is not going to be developed by aid. It will be developed by investment and I think you are beginning to see it.” At midday Friday, of 61 transactions valued at $40.4bn tabled for discussions in boardroom sessions, 45 deals worth over $32bn secured investment interest. Final numbers will be disclosed in the coming days.
SA’s IDC and AfDB sign loan agreement to ramp up industrial and infrastructure development in Africa. An assessment on the impact of the previous facility ($200m), indicated that collaboration between the Bank and IDC resulted in the creation and retention of over 15,000 jobs in selected sectors including agro-industries, logistics, transport and other industrial infrastructure across multiple countries - Senegal, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland, among others.
G20 Compact with Africa assesses role in facilitating private sector investments. “You can see the Compact with Africa as a brand. If you are a foreign investor, that ensures you have a sound and safe environment to invest in Africa because the Compact countries commit themselves to reforms and rule-based systems where investors are welcome and find the environment that is needed to do business,” said Wolfgang Schmidt, State Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Germany. The G20 Compact with Africa also aims to be one of the main drivers of transformation on the continent. One of its objectives is to fast track the number of countries joining CwA within the next three years.
US OPIC signs $100m loan deal with Africell. African telecoms firm Africell on Friday signed a $100m loan agreement to fund an expansion of its communications infrastructure with U.S. development financier the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. The deal was signed on the sidelines of the African Development Bank’s Africa Investment Forum in Johannesburg, and forms part of the OPIC’s $1 billion investment in African infrastructure and technology launched earlier in 2018. Africell’s chief investment officer Ian Paterson told journalists at the signing of the deal that the financing would be used in the markets where the company is already operating rather than expansion into new markets. “We will be looking to invest the proceeds to expand our networks, develop new products and services, really using the platform of customers we have today and trying to layer on more value added services to them,” he said. Africell boasts 12 million customers in Sierra Leone, Gambia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda. [Related Reuters coverage of the AIF: France’s EDF signs deal for 1.2 bln euro Cameroon hydro project; Morocco’s Attijariwafa bank to eye new Africa acquisitions from late 2019]
Tanzania: JPM sacks 2 ministers in cashews fallout, appoints new trade minister (The Citizen)
President John Magufuli yesterday sacked two key ministers and disbanded the board of directors of the Cashewnut Board of Tanzania in a fallout over the crisis now bedeviling the cashew nut subsector. The ministers dropped in the cabinet mini-reshufle are Dr Charles Tizeba (Agriculture) and Charles Mwijage (Industry and Trade). A brief statement issued at 6pm yesterday said President Magufuli had also annulled the appointment of CBT chairperson Anna Abdallah and disbanded the Board. Joseph George Kakunda (MP for Sikonge-CCM) has been appointed new Industries and Trade minister. The President made the mini-reshuffle a few hours after he inspected 75 trucks from the Tanzania People’s Defence Force’s transport unit, and ordered the army to be on standby to buy cashew nuts if the price war fails to end by Monday evening. On Friday, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said if buyers failed to purchase the thousands of tonnes of cashew nuts the government would intervene and buy the produce.
So far a small portion of the cashew nuts on offer has been purchased in the auctions that were held several times in Lindi and Mtwara, leaving close to 200,000 tonnes lying idle in warehouses. The buyers, it seems, are not ready to buy the produce for Sh3,000 a kilo. Speaking after inspecting the trucks, President Magufuli said the army would be deployed to Lindi, Mtwara, Ruvuma, Coast and Tanga regions. “They will collaborate with the National Cereals and Produce Board in purchasing all cashews at Sh3,000 per kilo and the funds are available,” he said. Only 14 out of 37 firms registered to purchase cashew nut participated in the just suspended auctions, it emerged yesterday.
Tanzania: Chinese investors eye mega projects in Bagamoyo SEZ (The Citizen)
EPZA and the Tanzania Ports Authority have partnered with China Merchant Holding International and Oman’s State Government Reserve Fund as strategic investors in developing an industrial park and port within the Bagamoyo SEZ. Beijing Urban Development vice president Wang Kai said the Bagamoyo projects, especially the proposed port, would play a key role in the export of goods from Tanzania to China’s Jiangsu Province and other global markets. “The port will be the driver of other mega investment projects to be implemented in the Bagamoyo SEZ,” he said, adding that their visit was aimed at familiarising themselves with the Bagamoyo SEZ master plan and policies governing investment in agriculture. They were also looking into the possibility of establishing direct links between the proposed Bagamoyo Port and Xuawei Port in Lianyungang City, Jiangsu Province. The Bagamoyo SEZ, which covers an area of 9,000 hectares, is on course to be the largest project to be implemented in Coast Region. Latest figures from EPZA show that investments in export processing zones and special economic zones have grown to over $1.29bn.
Paris Peace Forum: Buhari urges world leaders to impose stringent actions on illicit financial flows (Premium Times)
The Nigerian President warned that continuous impunity will encourage more pilfering of countries’ resources to the detriment of poor and vulnerable populace. Speaking at the first edition of the Paris Peace Forum, held on the sidelines of the Centenary of Armistice Day, Mr Buhari said Nigeria had strengthened its laws and institutions to fight corruption, fast-track recovery of stolen assets and punish offenders, urging more commitment from governments and international institutions. “Our experience in Nigeria is that financial crimes, such as corruption and fraudulent activities, generate enormous unlawful profits which often prove so lucrative that the threat of a jail term is not sufficient to deter perpetrators. A more powerful deterrent is to ensure that profits and assets generated from illicit financial flows and corruption are recovered and returned to countries of origin. This is not to under-estimate the value of strong institutions. It only indicates that asset recovery represents significant deterrence compared to the traditional focus on obtaining conviction by the law enforcement agencies of the countries of origin.” [Full text of President Buhari’s speech]
The President of the Commission of ECOWAS, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, has called for increased cooperation with the government of the USA in a bid to ensure political stability, peace, security and economic development in the West Africa. He made this call while receiving the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Tibor Nagy and the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington during a courtesy visit at the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria on 9th November 2018. President Brou also informed the US delegation of the Commission’s commitment to improve inter regional trade which currently stands at 15% for formal trade and its steps to provide assistance for Member States in order to arrive at a common regional position on the African Continental free Trade Area. On his part, Mr. Tibor Nagy stated that indeed ECOWAS has made giant strides in the political affairs of its Member States and described the West African bloc as an example which other Regional Economic Communities should emulate. He reiterated the commitment of the United States to support initiatives that will create a conducive environment for foreign investments to thrive in West Africa. He stated that the United States through its International Development Finance Corporation to the tune of $60 billion will assist developing countries improve their infrastructure and economies. [Tibor P. Nagy: The enduring partnership between the United States and Nigeria]
Today’s Quick Links:
Afreximbank, China Exim exchange joint initiatives memo